TikTok

Children and teenagers are being encouraged to steal from shops as part of a new social media craze called the TikTok ‘shoplifting challenge’.

The craze, where thieves post videos of what they have stolen from shops, is being uploaded on TikTok, a website specialising in short videos. North Leicestershire Police confirmed a number of shops in the area had been hit by the craze last month. In April, Hereford Business Improvement District confirmed 15 shoplifters attempting the craze had been deterred.

Meanwhile, a similar TikTok trend called ‘borrowing’ provides shoplifting tips. Advising on how to steal from a ‘corner shop’, one post recommended bringing a friend to help distract the retailer.

Within a 30-minute period, Retail Express found four videos posted under the ‘borrowing’ and ‘shoplifting challenge’ trends. The posts have since been removed after Retail Express alerted TikTok to them. According to its community guidelines, moderators are used to monitor posts, with 96% of unauthorised posts removed within 24 hours.

A TikTok spokesperson said: “TikTok does not condone this behaviour, which violates our policies, and content will be removed if found on our platform.”